Thursday: June 26, 2025
5:24 AM; LOS ANGELES, THE AUSTEN-TAYLOR HOUSEHOLD, MASTER BEDROOM
“Good morning, Bo,” Rick greeted.
Bo smiled, cradling his phone between his shoulder and ear as he buttoned his shirt. “Morning, Rick. How are you?”
“Good. Back home. How are you?”
“Pretty damn good, actually.”
Rick chuckled. “Glad to hear it. To what do I owe the pleasure, Bo?”
“Well, I figured that since you’re in Ellepath, you could do me a little favor.”
“I assume you guys still have fingerprinting powder, yes?” the blonde asked.
“Sure do,” Rick confirmed.
“Good. Could you go to Ames for me? I have a theory.”
Rick laughed. “Hell, yeah, I’ll go to Ames for you. Is this a theory you’re planning on walking me through?”
“Mm… not yet. I still need a bit of time to fully process it. Call me when you’re in Ames?”
“Will do. I’ll have to talk to my boss once I get to the station. So it should be nearly nine my time. So… seven your time?”
“Sounds good to me, Rick. Thank you.”
“Sure thing, Bo. You just sit tight, all right? I’ll do what I can for your theory.”
Bo chuckled. “Thank you.”
“No problem. Call you in a few,” Rick said.
Bo ended the call, setting his phone on the bed. “Good morning,” he greeted as Jensen skimmed a hand across his back.
“Morning,” the younger man murmured. “Jamal gave me the day off. Says you could benefit from me being here,” he said.
“I like that idea,” Bo agreed. He pulled his legs onto the bed, moving to straddle Jensen’s hips. “I know I’ve been difficult. Thank you for… putting up with me,” he said quietly, resting his palms on Jensen’s broad chest.
Jensen shook his head. “Don’t thank me for that. You’ve been ‘difficult’ because I hurt you,” he said. He reached up, brushing Bo’s hair away from his forehead. “That’s not your fault, and I don’t deserve graciousness for that.”
“Mm. Agree to disagree, then,” Bo said. He leaned down, kissing Jensen softly. “It isn’t your fault that I’m different than you. My mind works in different ways than yours, and that can be confusing sometimes. I take things more seriously than I should, but I can’t help it. That’s not your fault, and you shouldn’t feel responsible for it.”
One corner of Jensen’s mouth lifted. “Thanks, Eli.”
“My pleasure.” Bo tilted his head to the side. “So… what’s your big plan for the day?”
“I don’t know yet,” Jensen said. “But, uh, while we wait for your theory to set in place here, there’s something we need to talk about. It doesn’t have to be right now if you don’t want to talk about it… but we need to hit on it pretty soon.”
Bo nodded. “Sure. What’s on your mind?”
“When Jake and Alice take the twins…” Jensen offered a shrug. “That’s gonna sting, Eli. It hurts just to think about it. I know they aren’t ours, but it feels like having our children ripped from us. It’s not gonna be easy.”
“I know. We’ll just have to throw even more love at Amber and Kayla once the twins are gone,” Bo said.
“I don’t think that’ll do it, Eli. It’s gonna be so damn quiet in this house without them,” Jensen said.
“Can we… start looking for a surrogate?”
Bo hesitated for a moment. “What if I told you we already had one?”
“What do you mean?”
“Cecilia offered to be our surrogate,” Bo said.
“Holy shit. For real?” Jensen asked. Bo nodded. “She’s amazing,” he whispered.
One corner of Bo’s mouth lifted. “She is,” he agreed.
“Is she aware of all the work that’s gonna go into that? Not just the nine months of total hell. All the shit beforehand?”
“If we decide to take her up on her offer, it’s definitely something we’ll have to discuss with her. IVF will be hell, to say the least,” Bo said quietly. “Crazy hormones and mood fluctuations. Pain and… a lot more shit that I hate to even think about. But, we’ll cross that bridge when we get there, okay? Let’s worry about our girls and Jake’s twins before we worry about knocking up one of my best friends.”
Jensen chuckled, offering a nod. “Well, when you put it that way, I’m more than willing to drop the subject,” he said.
Bo smiled, rolling his eyes. “I love you, you big dork,” he murmured. He kissed Jensen before leaning down enough to rest his head on Jensen’s shoulder.
“I love you, too,” Jensen said, wrapping his arms around Bo’s shoulders. “Can I… ask you something?”
“Is this ever how you saw your life? Did you ever think you’d end up in bed with some guy? Or have kids?”
Bo offered a short, nearly breathless laugh as he shook his head. “No, but before I answer the kid part of that question, I’ll let you know that you are the only person I’ve ever enjoyed having sex with. So, based on any preferences I’ve discussed in my life, it means my emotional bond with you runs the deepest, which means that ending up in bed with some guy is the best decision I ever made.”
Jensen smiled faintly, pressing a kiss to Bo’s head. “Me, too,” he whispered.
“I never wanted kids originally. I saw myself as a freak, and the last thing I wanted was to pass that onto my children. I didn’t want to force a child to grow up the way I did. Trying to fit in as a child is hard enough when you’re normal. I didn’t want to put a kid through that kind of hell. And when I was with Bridget, I wanted to marry her someday, but I knew we wouldn’t have kids. She had a family history of early onset Alzheimer’s, and she didn’t want kids because of that. She had her tubes tied after college to make sure she wouldn’t pass it on. So… kids were never something I saw in my future, but Kayla and Amber are two of the best decisions I’ve ever made, as well. Truthfully, I do believe everything that revolves around you is the best decision I’ve ever made. The houses, the girls, the engagement, the eventual twins we keep planning for. All of it is… absolute perfection, and whether or not I ever expected this?” Bo shook his head, pressing a kiss to Jensen’s shoulder. “I wouldn’t change any of this for the world, Jens. Ever.”
7:04 AM; LOS ANGELES, THE AUSTEN-TAYLOR HOUSEHOLD, KITCHEN
Bo set his phone on the kitchen counter, the call with Rick on speaker. “Are you at the apartment?” he questioned.
“Yep,” Rick said simply.
“Great. There should be a back door. Walk around the left side of the building, but stay as close to the actual building as you can,” Bo said.
“So… balls to the wall, basically?” Rick asked.
Bo snorted. “Yeah, balls to the wall,” he agreed, turning toward his laptop. “Could you move just a smidgen closer to the wall?” he asked.
“Are you… watching me?”
“You hacked into their security cameras,” Rick said.
“I mean… allegedly,” Bo said.
Rick laughed, but he moved closer to the wall. “Better?”
“You’ve basically disappeared. If it was dark outside, I wouldn’t be able to see you at all,” Bo murmured. “Okay, so, stay against the wall there and keep on going until you get to the back of the building.”
“Will do.” A few moments later, Rick cleared his throat. “I turned the corner. Did you see me?”
“No, you’re doing great. I think there’s a door on the back there. Do you see it?”
“Are you wearing gloves?”
“Great. Is it unlocked?”
A pause. “Holy shit. Why is it unlocked?” Rick questioned.
“Poor security, that’s why. Take out your fingerprinting powder, see what prints you can get on the handle for me,” Bo said.
“You have a card with you?”
“Good. Just keep all the prints on that. Keep track of where you got them from,” Bo said.
“Mmhmm.” Bo leaned up, pulling a cup from the cupboard. He poured himself a cup of coffee, grabbing a second mug as he heard Jensen walk into the kitchen. He filled the second mug and, after placing the coffee pot back, he turned and handed the mug to his fiancé.
Jensen smiled. “Thanks, babe,” he said softly. He pressed a kiss to Bo’s forehead before leaning back against the counter. “How’s it going, Officer Downs?” he asked.
“Getting some nice prints from this door, that’s for sure,” Rick said.
“Good. Keep it up, Officer.”
Rick chuckled. “For the love of God, Jensen, can you just call me Rick?”
“Ah, you bet.”
“All right. I think I’ve gotten all of them. Now what?” Rick asked.
“Go inside,” Bo said, tapping a key on his laptop, switching cameras. “Stay close to the wall on the right side of the door.”
Rick glanced up at the camera. “Your right or mine?”
“Okay. Now what?” Rick asked.
“Go up the stairs. Stay on your right.”
“And, still sticking to the right, make your way to the fourth floor.”
“Will do. Give me a second. Slower than I used to be, boy genius.”
Bo smiled faintly. “Of course, Rick.”
After a few minutes, Rick sighed. “Fourth floor. Next?”
“Move to the left wall at the top of the stairs. Head down the hall. There’s a window at the end. Dust for prints on that window,” Bo said.
“You bet. Hold on.”
“He’s basically invisible,” Jensen murmured, taking a sip of his coffee.
“Blind spots do wonders if you know how to use them,” Bo said quietly.
Bo pulled open the refrigerator and grabbed the creamer. He poured a fair share into his coffee mug, stirring it until the liquid was a deep cream color. He handed a spoon back to Jensen before setting the creamer down beside the younger man. “Sugar?” he asked.
Jensen shook his head. “Nah, I’m good. Thanks,” he said softly, picking up the creamer.
“Got ‘em all,” Rick said. “Now what?”
“Open the window and climb out.”
“I’m on the fourth floor, Bo.”
“You’re gonna get me killed,” Rick muttered. There was a pause before he snorted. “Okay, fine. There’s a fire escape here.”
“Mmhmm. It’s a couple feet below the window. Drop to it. Don’t hurt yourself. Head up to the seventh floor and check for prints along the right side railing along the way. When you get to the seventh floor, you’ll be at Serena Bishop’s window. That’s when you send me the clearest picture you can manage of the prints on the card,” Bo said.
“Will do, Bo.”
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